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tv   The News Hour With Jim Lehrer  PBS  July 6, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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macneil/lehrer productis >> lehr: good evening, i'm jim lehrer. on the newshouthis tuesday, the lead story: is the moow smit where presidents obam' and medvedev rehed agreement onuclear weapons and more. then, the other ns of the day, incding deadly violence and rioting in northwesterchina; the latest on the power tandoff in honduras; a dia unit look athe washington post's apolog for now withdrawn pay-for- accessroposal; and some
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perspective on etnam era defense secrety robert mcnamara who died tod. major funding for theewshour with jilehrer is provid by: >> the world ichanging, and how we u energy today cannot be how we use it tomorrow there is no one solion. it's not simplyore oil, more renewables oreing more efficien it's all of it. our way of life depen on
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veloping all forms of energ and to use less of it. it's time to put our differences aside. will youe part of the sotion? chevron, humaenergy. the nationalcience foundation. supporting education and research across all flds of science anengineering. and with thongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made posble by the corpation for publibroadcasting. and by contributions to ur pbs station fr viewers like you. thank you. >> lehrer: president oma moved to "re-set" u.s relations with ssia today. he journeyeto moscow to push for progress on nuclear weans and missile dense. judy woodruff has our leastory report.
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>> woodruff: mr. obama's vit to moscow mark the first u.s.- ssia summit in seven years. he began by laying a eath at russia'somb of the unknown soldier. ♪ then, it was on to the kremn to meet with russian president dmitri medvedev. the pair emergelater to report they're trying for a new ra of good will aft recent years of cky relatis. >> the president and agreed that the rationship between russia and the united statesas suffered from sense of drift. we resoed to reset u.s.- russian relations so that can cooperate me effectively in eas of common interest. >> ( translate ): this is the fir, but very important, step in thprocess of improving ll-scale cooperation between our two countries,hich should go to the benefit of th
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states. >> woodruff: to that end, t leaders announc a joint unrstanding for a follow-on trty to "start" the strategic arms reduction trty. it's due toxpire in december. the new gl is to cut strategic warheads to 1,500 to 675 on each side frothe current maximum of 2,200. the two nations so committed to cting delivery systems to 500 to 1,100 a side. right now, the limit is 600. president dvedev said it's also portant to work together onreventing other countries from gaining nucleaweapons. >> ( trslated ): there are regions around theorld where the prence of nuclear arms would create huge proems. and these are areawhere we should concentrate o efforts, together withur american parers.
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>> woodruff: medvedevid not directly me iran, but mr. ama did, when it came turn f his response. >> in thmiddle east, there is de concern about iran's pursuit onuclear weapons capability, not simply becse of one cotry wanting nuclear weapons, t the fact that if iran obtained clear weapons, it ian almost, it is almost certain that other countriein the region would then decideo pursue their own progrs. and we wod then see a nuclear arms race in perhaps the mt volatile partf the world. woodruff: the u.s. has cit that threat as jtification for placing aissile defense system in eastern europe. but russia opses any such planand there was no official resolution today. >> the difference that we' had habeen on the specifics of a ssile defense system that th united stateviews as a
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priority not to deawith russia buto deal with a missile coming in from iranr north korea or some other ste, and that it's important for t united states and its lies to have the capaty to prevent su a strike. >>woodruff: medvedev called it a "difficult area"but he suggested ere might be progss. >> ( transted ): we talk about the linkage betweenffensive and defeive weapons. and is already constitutes a step forward. sometime ago, on this queson, we had all ly differences. now this linkages being stated,nd this opens up the opportunity of bringing positions closer toach other. >> woodruff: the russians so agreed today tollow use of
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their airspace to tnsport u.s. troopand equipment to ghanistan. tomorrow, president oma is scheduled to sit do with vladimirutin, russia's former president and current pme minister. margaret warner is cering the storyor u.s. in mosco spoke with her a little whil ago. did theu.s. get what it wanted and expected on as control? >> warner: judy, they ddn't get quite as low numbe as they'd hope in term of reducing long-range missiles an their launchs. but we're td that as of last -- late last week they had no firm agreement on evennnouncing y targets. and tat president obama talk to preside meddev on t phone andthat's how they evenot these nubers. which are roughly about a 30% cut in missil and -- no, i think 25% in miiles and 30%in launcher
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presint obama did come here with the white hoe hoping that in his one-on-one with president medvedev he wld be able to persde president dvedev to drop the numbers ev lower. that did not happen. butll inll i would say that the u.s. side is pleased with the commitment and plased alsowithhe relatnship that seems to haveeveloped in negotiations. and they strsed to us that the first start treaty took nine years to negotie. so really that the proling res theye made just in a few months is quite remarkable. woodruff: and what about on the russian side, di they get what they waed on ssile defense? >> warner: presidnt medvedev saidhe had agreement with prident obama that miile defense and missile offnse are linked. president obama said theoretically yes, ofourse theyare, but that when you are talking about this european defense syst that e u.s. wan to try to set up in some fashion, that that isust way too modest tobe of any threat to
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russia's nuclrcapability. what appareny in their one-on-one whh well over an hour, and in fact it we quite long, it went about an hour and a half, longer tn they expected, it really focued on missile defee, which they agreed t do a threat assessme of the danger pose by missiles in th region. and two, iran. and thathe two were totall linked. and at one int president medvedev though h never let e word iran pass his lps at t press nference did say,id speak about the concern f the growing missile threat inhe region and th nuclear threat. and he talked about cntries it that want to join the nuclear club or he said worse are pursuing it clan de -- clandestinely whichas a pretty clear rerence to iran. >> woodruff: and mgaret, the ahanistan agreement. what u.s. officials say is significant about that >> warn: they are very pleased by thisgreement. this agreed, judy, will allow the u.s. to at the present tme not st what
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they -- transport not jst letal, which the russian already announced a couple das ago they were going to do but troops. and that means that u.s. forces can fly from germany to afghanistan through russian air spae. what's more,i'm told by one of the president's aides, therussians are goi to really relax al their usual kind of bureaucratic parwork requirements of knowing who is on the manifest and checking out. mean they still wi have the ability to do that on a case-by-case basis ifhey want toment b essential they're going to be very accommodang about it. finally they arectually going pay these quote navigation fee which usually the u.s would ha pay to i guess air-traffic conolers on the ground. the russia are actually going to absorb that cost the other thing tt is significant aboutheir cooperation o afghanist as it goes beyond the tnsit, they're talking out working together to build, yo know, a more
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modern society as psident dvedev describes it in afgnistan and preside obama as yomay know di talk aout prhaps the ruians can help in training the afghan army or police. so bottom line is the russians ha gonefrom being obstacl atimes as they were earlier thisear when they persuaded another former republic to clo its air base to the u.s. in the region and n are seeing themselvess coop rative parers in the afghanistan effort. >> woodruff: but quickly there are still some sticking points betweethe two leaders on other issues? >> absolutely. and i think that that was conveyed by their tone. they talked out wanting to cooperaten a lot of things. they ao talked about the fact at they still have mar differences. president obama mentioned georgia in particular. and they have aged to disagree and to coinue discussing that. so i would s that tonewise too it was telling that
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though president obama said hecertainly trusted esident medvedev to gotiate and stick to his agreents, there was none the gushiness, therwas no loong into anye's souland deciding tey can work together they really emphasized this a businesslike relationship. tone was cordial but very business like. and these difference does remain. >> woodruff: anfinally tell ushat is on tap for tomorrow, the meeti with putin. > warner: well that's, of course, everyone is aiting tha eagerly. preside obama and prime minist pin who we slipped and lled president putin once today bere catching himself, i wou say what is reay important with the meetin with prime minister putin torrow is it will be the fir chance for president oama to take his mease of the man they've never t before. and i think th above all that's the most impornt thingbout that meeting. >>oodruff: margaret warner coering the summit for us in mosw. thanks. >> warner: anks, judy. >> lehrer: in otr news today, seen u.s. troops were killed i attacks across ahanistan.
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it washe deadliest day in nearly a year. six americanwere killed in rodside bombings in the north anin the south, near where u.s. marines are wagina major offensiv another died in class with insurgentsn the eastern part of the country. meanwhile, the taiban confirmed pturing a u.s. soldier last week. there were no details on wat the militantsill do with him. ethnic rio across western chi have now claimed at least 156 lives. violence erupted on sund in e capital city of xinjng province. inddition to the dead, more than 800 people werhurt. we have a repor narrated by liney hilsum of independent television news. >> reporter: mobs on the stree of urumqi, groupof youths who he chinese rule. yesterday severalhousand people from the slim uighur minoty went on the rampage, they say theyace discriminion, and ty took out their ger on the han.
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the hanre the dominant ethnic group in china, but rerded as colonialts by many uighurs who would like a separate ste. this han wan was kicked and stoned, the hpitals are full of injured, government says mor than 800 people re hurt, some bay, mostly beaten with sticks or stabbed by yout with knives. >> ( trslated ): it seemed like they were in groupsf more than ten. there was no chancto say anything. they just came up d attacked you. >> ( tranated ): they didn't really talk to you. when they saw a han peon coming along, ey started to attack. or when aus came along, they started to attack. >>reporter: the story starts ten ys ago, in a factory in southern china, fighting broke out between uighs and han after a han accused a uhur man of rape. the allegation is believ to be untrue, but sevel uighurs were lynched nonethess.
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theorrifying pictures shot by mobile phone we seen by uighu back home in urumqi. the students he what was initily a peaceful demonstrationemanding an inquiry. the chinese vernment is blaming exileed uighur separatist rce the iolence which follows. >> the forces fromnside and outside >> translated ): the 'the forces' from side and outside china aggressively operated to attack china's mmunist party anthe government. ey also incited people up to carry out demonstrions in the city >> repter: today the han were counting the cost their government encoured them to move to xinjiang provinc to make urumqi chinese rather an a uighur city. it's not clear whether violence was oneided or whher uighurs were also killed by government foes.
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the chinese government will see sch unrest age the large death toll as a major challen t only to its authority but to its sovereignty. >> lehrer: the s. reacted to t situation late today. a white house statementalled for all paies in western china to "exercise restraint". embers of the u.n. security council talked tod about respondingo north korea's atest move. on saturday, thnorth koreans deed the u.n. and fired seven mid-range balstic missiles ino the sea of japan. t missiles have the range to strike all of sou korea and most ojapan. in mexico, theajor opposition rty, p.r.i., pledged to ena economic reforms it defead the ruling conservati party in mid-term congressional elections yesterday. the vote was a test of esident calderon'sfforts to boost the econy and halt drug violence. theri, called the pree, ruled mexico for decades uil it lost
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the pridency in 2000. general motors will be le to sell the lk of its assets to a a deral bankruptcy judge ruled late suay the sale is in the best interests of both g. and its creditrs. an appe was expected by people who haveued g.m. in auto cident cases. under the bkruptcy plan, the governme will be majority owner of the new g.m. wall street had a mixed da the d jones industrial average gained 44 points close above 832 but the nasq fell 9 points to close at 1787. anoil prices hit a five-week w, falling to $64 a barrel i new york tradin gasoline prices also fellgain to a nationaaverage of $2.61 a gallon.
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>> lehrer: and still to me on the newshoutonight: the washinon post says sorry; and rememberg robert mcnamara. that follows gwen ifi and the test on the standoff in honduras. >> ifill: thmain airport in gucigalpa remained closed day, after the depos president attpted to land the last evening. manuel zelaya's plane ciled the skies of thcapital, but was forced to divert aer soldiers block the runway. supporters of laya, who was forced out st sunday, lit fis and hurled rocks. a 19 year od protestor was lled. last night, zelaya, who ultimately land in el salvador, t with regional eaders and denounced the violence. >> ( translated ): in the name of god, soldiers of hondus, policemen, in the name of god, i askou, i beg you and i coand you: do not repress thhonduran people any longer.
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>> ifill: thsecretary general of the organizatn of american states, who escord zelaya to central america, sa he wanted peacef negotiations. >> ( transled ): i want to say that as oas secreta general i'm a ready to go forwarwith all the diomatic work necsary to obtain our goal. our goal isot to an act of intervention, ouroal is to comy with the norms that all countries fely adopted. >> ifill: yesterda honduras' acting president roberto micheletti said he w willing to work with the.a.s. but, he insisted,elaya broke th law, and will face consequences. >> ( translated ): i believe there is time to tnk about, to have dialogue, to solve this problem and at the right me he will take the decisiono come bak and turn himself in so the right authorities cadecide the right thing to do with forer president zela. >> ifill: a state deparent spokesman sd the u.s. is still committed to zelaya's
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reinstatement. our al remains the restoration of democratic, the docratic order in honduras, d we renew our call on all polical and social acrs in hondas to find a peaceful solution this crisis. >> ifill: secretary of ate hillary clion is scheduled to meet with the ousted hondura leader this weekn washington. r more on the situation we are joined in hduras b marc lacey, he covers central amerca for "the new rk times". marc, brings up to date wih whatis happening. >>ood to be with you. so yesterday was jt a stunning day,a really dramatic day. i was at the airport. there were thousands of supporters of theusted present there. and all of a sudden a plane appeared, a charter plane. and it sooped down low over the airport, cheers rang out. but the aiort was ocked by policend soldiers.
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it couldn't lan and so this countr remains in a standoff. there are still two people wholaim toe president of honduras. >> ifill: we heard tod, for instance,hat secretary oftate clinton has said thatt some point this week she will meetith i guess we cl him the ousted presidt manl zelaya re in washington. is thawhat you are heing? >> yes, yes. that meeting is supposed to go ahead tomorrw. and i think that is significt. there is also a delegation om hon dureas -- honduras of congress peoplend others o support the goverent, the ierim governnt here. they are on their way to washington today. soit appears that people are talking in washington -- washington. we still d't know how this is goin to end. we don't know wt the solution is. both sides are real digging their heels. buthere's at least talk going on. and so that's consered a si of hope. >> ifill: now the intem
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prident roberto michelettei said he is waiting for thigs to return to normal. so whais normal? >> wll there is traffic in the stree behind me. offices are open. shopping is goingn. ut behind that venr of normalsyhere are soldiers outsidall major government facilities herehere are soldiers ringing the airport. most international -- most if not all internaonal flightsave been cancelled. and there's still a curfew in the evening. so things are very tense. the interigovernment peopleere are worried about dturbances. and we hr reports of people being detained arbitrarily. yesterday the first one or two deaths happened wh the sdiers opened fire. it's not a countries that's back to normal by any means. >ifill: well, the burden
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for this reopening the negotiations, returning to normalcys it on the oas, on th u.s. state department, onhe united nations, ecuar, argeinaenezuela, everyone see involved. >> there are a lotf parties involved t it seems to b the organation of american states that is taking te lead. and wasngton hasaid that. washgton plays a big role in this country. there's a real big u.s. infence here. many honduans were educad if in t u.s. historicly the u.shas played a very influce role here. a negative role manyeople would sa and so the o is csidered the lead negotiat but the o obama administration, the secretary of stateilllay a veryig role in how this standoff is resolved. >> ifill: now therhas been talk of ove vacation and rumo of prove vation --
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provo case invving troop movements even that f er fromthe active psident is there anything to back up, especially e idea that anher country might be ving toward the border. >> right, right, right. yes, we he hard that. the interim predent micheletti said that ther are nicaraguans bute later clarified it and said that there a small groups of nicaraguan tros near the border. and it doesn't appearhat they're there under a one's orders. an so it's really tough to gauge. e obama administraon has said tt they are not getting iormation of any ssing of troops. and the isn't a sse washiton that there is y sort of -- any so of military invasion imminent anything like that. so a lot o what's goi on in this dispute is really tryingo influenc is
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making orageous claims ming exaggerated claims try to infence the debate. and we're t, i believe oing to see oher countries clashi with the honduran military. doesn't appear to be e case. >> ifill: and one otherody talking -- king efforts to influence the debate apparently is theatholic church which h warned zelay to stay away? >> yes, the catholic church is extremely inflntial in this country. an church leaders ha ma very cle that ey believ mr. zelaya's return would be an inflammaty act that could provoke people to violence. and the church leaders made thatvery clear in a televised stement. and t church, the urn has in a sensaken sides in this dispute that has divided hon dureas -- onduras. and we' see how i plays
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out. >> ifill: and finally, mark, what the sense of the place today, especially after yestday's eves. doe it feel like it's under siege. does it feel asf things are about to turthe corner? or is everyoneust waiting to see? >> i thinkthe city appars tome to be fairly calm. there is als a tension behin the scenes and really an uncertainty as to h this is going to play out. there was a ptest today of people who sport zelaya, the oustedresident. tomorrow though it's gong to be a fascinating day. pposedly supporters of mr. micheletti are going to take over thtreets. they're ying they are going to g a million peoplewhich would be unbelievable. but ty're planning a huge demonstration. and their poi basically is at the pele ar behind what happened lastunday. that this isot an unpopular chae of government. a they want to show that by havng people pour into
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the streets. and they want the camas of the worldo be trained not on mr. zelaya but on the people of honduras. >> ifill: mc lacey, thanks so much. >> thank yo. >> lehr: now a prominent newspaper ana story of access, mone and the business of journalism. jeffrey brown h our media unit port. >>eporter: it was an unusual headline, d apology in yesterday's washiton post: "a letter to our readersdirect fromhe publisher, katharine weymouth. the tter was in response to a storyhat broke thursday in politico.m, detailing how the publisher had planned a sees of policy dinns at her home. marketed by iers that offered corporate underwriters acce to obama admintration officials, memberof congress and ashington post journalists, exchan for payments as high as $25,000 per dinner, o$250,000 for a sees of 11 dinners.
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three days later, weyuth wrote in hepaper: weymouth saithe flier was not approved by heor her newsroom itors and did not accuratel reflect what she had imind. "our miste was to suggest that we would hold and particate in an off-theecord dinner with journalists and power broke paid for by a spsor. we will not ganize such even." weymouth cancelled the fir so- called "son", which had been scheduled fojuly 21 with a focuon health care pocy. for his part, executive etor marcus brauci said the origil plan had been for the dinners to have ltiple sponsors to avoid the aparance that a single corporatentity could contl the dialogue. joining meow to look at the washington post situation ad beyond:
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geneva ovholser, director of the school of journalism the univerty of southern cafornia. she's a formerditor of the "des moines register" and rved as ombudsman of the washingn post. and bill mitche of the poynter nstitute, a school for journalists in florida. his wk focuses on emerging economic models for new organizations. we invited theublisher and etor of the washington post t join us but thedeclined. geneva overhser, explain what line the post was close to crossing, enough thatt cancelled theseatherings? >> wellto me it is important to remember that amidst all t changes going on in journali, one thing that professiona journalists ca still offer us is access to people in per. and what makeshis particurly unsavory, eff, in my view s that the post appeared to willing to sell tt access. d they were sort of using
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the journalists as lure. an it was a nd of a defanged version of journalists, even, because the copy said that the conversation would irited but not confrontational. which i ink is quite undermining for the iependence that is so important to journalists. >> we, bill mitchell, the notion of private dinners bringing together washington insiders, there nothing new there. access lobing, frndships between all of the above, noing new there. so whatare the red flags that for ne this case? >> well, i think among the red fls a geneva sgested isthe price, the noti of paying for access. clearly this is e beginng of what i think we'regoing to see a l of in the months and years aad as news organizaons struggle to figureut ways of paying r news. news in the public interest afterll. so i think what fferentiated this from a ki of off the record culture th you see a l
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of i washington i the ea of a news organizaion charging a minum of 25,000 dollars t sponsor such an event. very littlepayoff in term of the core audience of the news organition, after all. >> i wanted to askou to continue. you started talking about the larger context. you say we're going to see more of this, that's bause of the economic situation of so many nws organitions s that what you mean >>that's true. i tnk the reali is that news ganizations simpl will be unable to sutain the level of journalism at they've proced over the years from advertising and circulation revenues. and so as practica matter 's already hapning. news organizations are really puing hard for new sources of renue, new ways of redung costs. >>well, geneva wh do you see in tms -- w wide spread apractice is thiso reach out a have other events le this? >> well, i thinkvents are going to become increasingly portant. i thk selling your ournalists' access isot,
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i hope, a prevalent thin at all. but jeff i completely agree with what bill said and what you're implying here which is that with the economic circumstances of newspars so chalnging,hey're going to he to come up with ne source of icome. but they're going to have to keep an eye on the plic interest. because what disnguishes the terribly important news organations like "he wasngton post" from the sort of maelstrom, you kno that is going on n in the inrmation world is this credibilit -- credibility d reliability. and if they lose sight of the public trust then they'll beosing theirest asset. of course if they can't make ney, thene'll lose the post andhat won't be in the public interest true too. it's a real challenge. >> butontinue there, geneva how do you draw a line between the business side and the editorial side. as you say, i happensor everyews orgazation including our ownhen we think of taking on new onsors or working with
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foundations. where is the line and how do u draw that line? >> well, i tnk you keep a number of things in mind. ihink for one thing you have to be su that all departments in the ewspaper are talng to one anoer. which of course isotrue ithe old days when you had the so-called wall. ut here oddly enough tt's part of what fl down. it seems it's a communcation among marting and newsroom and the publisher's office went afoul or at let that's part what catherin weymout has said and it sounds ke that from the editor asell. another that you really have to figure out what are the old res that youcan let go without anything -- tnking of the principls an selling your access to your journalss is a pncipal that at this don't think yone should give up. so and the third one is to beery transparent about everythi you are doing. i man when polit "politico" did the coverage of this story t maim clearit is not anything the post could hve been comfortae being open an transpare abou
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>> bill --o ahead. >> let me ju undecore at geneva sai in terms of being willingto rethink old rules d practices. realistically we have do that. but at the se time we have tohang tou with the ally important core principals. and i think ose principa have to apply to the business side as wel as the ws side, news organizions. to his edit, theexecutive ditor of the post argued thatn this case they had laid out spificparameters. in thend they wen't followed and ere was a massive screwup within the organizaon. ut i think the core principals of elling as much of truths possible remaining independent as possible, and minimizi harm to as many stakeholde as possible is core. in this case, the posts fell down in allhree. and the large harm, of course, in this case as ne to the post-it self. >> well, bill mitchellsome ofhe questions that were asked or aressed in this incident, for example were the joualists in some way
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limited to wha they could as wa there one sponsor or issue for some pople. was the sessionoff the recordr on. are all of these thgs the kinds of questions you're talking about? i mean are there rules about each one of those things? >> i thinkhere were more guidelines than there are rules. but i think it's pretty clear if you are tking abt getti at asmuch of the truth of any matter as possible tha you are not ing to set a parameter that there wille confrontional questions. sometimes andome circumstanes to get at the truth, you ned to be cfrontational. so saying theoutset that there will be no confrontational questions sets a totally ippropriate tting for the involvement of a news organization. >> absoluly. that was o of the least appealing thingsut io thin it's important to reember that one reason we e all talking about this ishat "the washington post" is a news organization with vy strong integty. that we have been able to rely on over the yea.
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not perspect, -- pfect, of crse. no news organization is perfect but they have owned up. they do seem to me tobe nfronting the challens here. andhe publisher has said it was a mistake. i think it's impoant to note th those were in the public interest, tose steps. >> and she did geneva, ms. weymou, that is, did say in her letter, i do believe theris a legitite way to hold such ent. even as s was apologiseing for this one, e thinks there are ys to do thi and has now, i guess, asked ternally for some guidelines how to do that. but that would suggest that we' not -- this is not the end of this sort of thing. eople are going to be looking for ways to rai new money. >> absolutely. we want to have newspapers doing things that they would never have done in the past. and i think all ofs who have ever edited newspapers are reminding ourselves of some of the rulese had. iould hate thave an ad on the front page. you know, bring them on if they will pay for
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investigativereporting. bu let them be not deceitful. an a on the frontpage that pays for ivestigative reporting, teific. if it is tricked up to look like something else like editorial contnt, not terrific. iseems to me they're going to be twoet cool underpinngs from here on out that we are going to have to relyon is this in the public interest, doest zferbt publicood. and trsparency. be completely honest about what we are doing. >> lasbrief last word for you bill mitchell, ds that sound like the two keysto you? >>hey do. i add only one other, bend transparcy is that is accntable. we need let the readers and viers know what we are doing and be ale to justify what we've done. >> thank youboth very much. >> ank you. >> tha you. >> lehrer:inally tonight, the legacy of robert mcnamara he died in his eep today at the e of 93. namara was the influential defense secretary fopresidents
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nnedy and johnson from 1961 1968. and he lar became preside of the world bank. but hwas known first and foremost as the archict of the vietn war. mcnamara himself was skeical, even pessistic about america's hances, even while he was ecuting the war. but he did not revl that publicly until yrs later, in his owmemoir and eventually in a 2003 documentary cald "the fog of war here's a ip from that film, showing what mcnamara and president johnsoniscussed privately about vtnam before the964 election.
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>> lehrer: in 1995 when s moir was published mcnamara appeared on this pgram. bert macneil asked him why he'd waited so ng to disclose misgivings about a war at claimed millions olives including 58,000 amicans.
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many people are saying, reewers, television ierviewers, others, that you shou have aired your dots 27 years o when it might have stopped the war sooner, ty believe, and sed many ives. and i bon wler th almost unersal reaction the last ten dayshas made you reconsider the moralityf your silence all those years. this is goin to take a few seconds to -- >> go ahd. >> the are two diffent problems. two fears during my years '65, 6, 7, 8 as secretary of defense. one fear and i expressed president johnson decemer 165 washat we couldn't win th war militarily. said to him at that me and i quoted in the boo, there's only a one in three chane or at best a one in two chancto win militarily. he said are you sying we can't winminute tarly. i said yes. however, theecond faras tha if wepulled out of vietnam, if vietnam were
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controlled by the communists, chinese and sviets, it would lead to what eisenhor predicted in 1954, the fall of th dominoes. other words, the fear that if wedidn't stand firm, the communist was take control of southeast asia, all of asia a strengthen their position ainst the west, in eupe and the u.s. nd i cldn't reconcile those two positions accepting only by pushing for action that would hopefully bring negotiations which wou prmit military disengagementithout losing vietnam. that w the course we were on. >> uh-huh. >> it's a veryomplicated approach. and it was in e e unccessful. >> but i just wonder in the la few days with so many people sang hey, he should have spen out a lo time ago when it might have done somgood, have you hadny second thouts about that. >>no, what should i have said. what shou i have said that would not have ought aid and comfort to thenemy. i was secretary of defense
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unl december 29, 6y. after that i was an ex-secretary of defee. what cod i have said that would no have brought aid andomfort. i ha no regrets about not speaking out then i have deep regrets that w ever got volved or that i suppoed our involvement. and most of all, i want to y to look back on what i think were our mistakes. ot all of my negotiates agree they were mistakes. but wh i think were our mistakes and draw to dr lessons so we won make the same mistake aga. >> you say youere prompted to write this book becase you were heartsick at the cynicism, even theontempt with which pele view their political instutions today. how did you think this book miht dispell that cynici. >> i hoped it wld explore item leaders did what they did. my associates we properly escribed in a ejor difficult term, t best and the brightes they were young young, intelligence -- intelligent, hardworking, dedicad servant and ty were wrong.
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now i think if our people understand that, then we can tk about why were they wrong. how n we aoid similar errors in our future. >> as you document it it is the best a the brigest that kennedy and johnson could muste year after year made the mistakes you admit and they refused to listen to their critics to use your phrase we blind prisoners of their assumptns and i the process sent nearly 60,000 americans to theirdeath. would that not conrm or epen people's cynicism about government? >> no, i think i hope what it wi do is cause us to examin at happened then. and try to prevent it in th future. some perspective now on robert mcnamarom errol morris the documentaryian w made "the fault of war" and deborah shapley, author of theiography "promise and power: the life an times of robert mcnamara" mr. morris to you first. how responsible do you believe robert mcnamaraas for what went wro in
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ietnam? >> well, as certainly at the apex of that pyramid of power ong with lyndon johnso the two most porful people in the americanovernment,. >> was mcnamara leading the wrong course oras he setting the wro course? my belief and it is informed by man of these taped phone conversaon, conveations between mcnara and johnson, the characterizati of mcnamara asbeing the chi arctect is wrong. to m the impetus for escalati clrly came from the president. >> do agree with tha, miss shapley that calling him the architect which i d just a moment ago, in fac, and reporng the story is incorct? >> i thin it's se to say tt they were all in it together, as they say, and that the president'sn both
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cases definitely set t tone. president kennedy and president johnson. an as in a sense mcnamara was right, they were prisoners of a mind-set there's also no queion that namara set mostf t military policy oen over the objections of the uniformed mility. so he is an architect inhe sense of a strategy at a different level than t whole overalquestion of whether -- >> in the intervieyou did with robert mcneil, and other interviews in e memoir a in also in the fog of war mr. mois's movie the fog of war, a lot of people hav said he was contrie. that he was actually apologizing. that's notxactly what he was doing, was it. >> no. he gave e iression in 1995 that he actually felt they were wrong all along. that he wod -- ddn't belve it athe time. and that was rather unfortunateimpression
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because it angered a lot of veteran in --made them believ that h had been lying tohem all the time. henew that the war was wrong, cetera. but in fact, in his acal memos to the psident at the ti and his record at t time, he kept saying this is gong to tke longer. we're gog to have to escale. it's going to go on for years. so w're just going to have to slog on. hedid not actually recommend withdrawal. and he himself did not -- government ayou know. he held that job for seven years, longer than anybody that had that job. >> he held onin the belief at he would somehow be able to control i from getting worse. >> uh-h. mr. mris what is your view of th. when he said, and it's a direct quot he said we were wrong. those we "we" h didn't say i was wronghe said we were wrong, that was the phrase that was used many mes. how do you interpret what he meant by "wng" >> that the policies were misguid.
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that thewhole ideaf necsary war in order to preve communist aggression failed to ta into consideration t fact that there was not intertional commust at work but a country lookin establish its iependence. i think one thing that s foot nen this who mcnara story that rurns again and aga to vietnam is that mcnamar was a rson who pt the lid on that he perceived and i think rightly so that there waan enormous daerf nuclear war. and thatis principal job was prevent that at all costs fromappening. i am asked quite often about
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he relationship between donald rumsfeld a robert mcnama. >> i havet asked you that. >> you hen't asked me b is oft expressed as the two thnocrats, two sis of the sa coin. and i like t rind pple that wn mcnumber ara took fice in 1960,e was faci a bellicose joint chiefs. thre was the fear of a preemptive nuclear strike against the soviet union. nd part of his story is the story of an attempt to control nuear weans and to prevent theossibility ofuclear war. >> is yur reporting and researchhat you did for youriography of mcnara support what mr. morris is saying? . >> a gate deaof it. but to co back to why he dn't speak out sooner, he
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had two arguments. and these wre discussions th i had with him and also ith mac bundy and oth advisors. >> hrer: when he was the national security advisor durng that time. >> there were twoears. one wasif he nt plic and said thishing isn't working out t would give aid an comfort to the enemy. ou just heard him say that >> lehrer: right. >> and ho c minute would have been dancing in the streets. we have redoubled h efforts and there wou have been mo u.s. guys dead. it didn't mpute from the standpoint osomeone in the chain of command w had senthese fellows out there to g publicnd say, hey, bos, i was wrong. th secretary of defense is not the same ing in a position of a journalist or a commentator o somebody std on the sidelines. has certainly ligations to those ople. which hemaintains throughout his life. so he wn't going to go out and tell all those veterans that he made a big mistake. then he seemed to do it ter. another considetion was as
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errol morris has just sad, that the pressures to widen the war in vietnam are ofte forgoen. and as late as 1967 when mcnamara went in augt before the senate arms services commitee, the prsures from rebellious generals, jnt chiefs of staff, even met to make very drtic plans, was to wden the bombing. and it waswidely believed in t estaishment in and out of government that idening the war, the air war whichhe general said wod solve it would actually draw the chinse and the russians. and thiwould be a much f greater danger to everyone's interests th slogging on with the ground war. >> lehrer: moving yond to the moreersonal side,he personal si of robert mcnamara, mr. morris, do you believe that there was some persal characteristic, some charter flaw or
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somewhat ever that caus him to do what at least wha he did was tat turned t to berong in president conduct of this w? >> well, we a ha charactflaws. and dending on the context ofen a character flawan be a aracter strgth. one of the characteristics of the man at least durin he time that inewim, incredibl fierst loyalty. i think it does did inform that question why didn'te speak out. his loyalty, he saidhis to me my, many times that he was not electe heerved at the pleasure of the president ofhe united states. he saw himself very clearly as a public servant. and never forgot that role.
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i think you ar correct to talkbouthese intervening yearsthe war continued. he didn't speakut. some 30 years psed before the publicationúfof "in retrospect" i think he alwa saw himself as secretary of defense. that loyalty was withim from the beginning and stayed with h until the very, ver end. >> lehrer: do aree with tha do you feel the same thing, did you feel that about him? >>sure, he would not criticize laterecretaries of defense. he wouldn't criticize rumsfeld over iraq he was ry deferential and stayed ithe role asrrol says. but to answer your question, what flaws caused him to ke the mistakes, you kno the imagethat one could n get, even ofcnamara in government, angshed over the posble flaws in the strategy, is reay very misleadin he was ferocious against people without disagreed
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with the sategy. there are my, many accounts, for example,f hi treatment of roger hillcircumstans sun would be justne example. people who dareto actually question the rategy openly were treatedith contempt, told togo jump in a lake. so he was securg theline of continuing the war, escalating, enging in some bombing. and that this w absolutely essential forhe sake of he united states' interests. and tha was veryf the overwhelming presence of rober mcnamara in government f those eight years. >> lehrer: all right, we're going to have to leave it thre. . shapley, mr. errol morris, thank you bothery much. >> thankou. >> thank yo >> hrer: and on our >> lehrer: on our weite, you can watcall of the interview with mcnamara and the reacon to h memoir from senator mcain and former senator mcgovern. >> lehre again, the other
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major developments of the dy. president obama and russia president meedev began a moscow summit. they agreed on a goaof cutting nucleaweapons by up to a third. sev u.s. troops were killed in attacks across afanistan. it was e deadliest day in nearly a year. and, the toll from ethnic ots acrs western china climbed to 156 dead. more than 800ave been hurt. on newshour.pbs.org. an onne- only feature tonight on our art beapage a look at arand other property looted by nazis during worldar ii. jeffrebrown talked to stuart eizenstat, author of a bk on the subject called "imrfect justice." here's a samplerom their conveation. >> the hoocaust was not nly the greatest genocide in history it was the greest theft in history of a whole people's proper, persona,ommuneal very sort. thert piece of it was by
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n means random. it s very systemic. ere was a special division hitler set upcalled the err division unde alfreosenberg. and they stole, experts believe, up to 60,000 paintgs, sculpturesnd creative arts of which 100,0 remain unacunted for. >> lehrer: the news >>ehrer: the newshour's journalism is availablehenever you wantt at newshour.pbs.org. we'll see you on-line and again here tomoow evening. i'mim lehrer. thanyou and good night. major funding for the newour with jim leer is provided by: chevron. intel. supporting math andcience education r tomorrow's innotors. and the wilam and flora heett foundation, working to solve social and enronmental proble at home and around the world. and with t ongoing support of these institutions and
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foundations. and.. this program wamade possible the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributionto your pbs staon from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponred by macneil/lehrer proctions captioned by media access group wgbh acceswgbh.org
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